Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

Remember the good ol days before Pinterest? When buying a card and a gift was sufficient enough for Mothers/Fathers Day? While Pinterest is my knowledgeable friend, the only thing in my life that I can count on to give me an awesome design tutorial while planning out my meals for the next – oh, I don’t know – year, it can be a little overwhelming. There are gift ideas for every holiday and I feel compelled to make the best present of the century.

And sometimes my projects fall apart, then I end up with nothing when the day comes. Because, as it would seem, I am incapable of working on anything until I only have a couple hours left to do it. Since this Fathers Day will be full of so many amazing fathers, I figured I needed to get a head-start on the gifts. So…here are my favorite DIY Fathers Day gift ideas!

LetterBlocks_DAD3Photo belongs to Stories by Me

Letter Blocks for Dad tutorial from Stories by Me: (found through Mod Podge Rocks) A good tutorial on how to make personalized blocks for the dad in your life. These don’t have to be for just Fathers Day either. They can be used for Christmas, Birthdays or for any reason you feel like making them. Thinking of actually making some with Cecilia’s initials for her room. How cute would that be! The site also has tutorials and classes to learn how to do other projects like this.

P1030392Photo belongs to Bargain Hoot

Scrabble word letter art tutorial from Bargain Hoot. Rene’ from Bargain Hoot uses a blank background, but you can also check out the tutorial from Just Another Day in Paradise, that uses a picture in the background. I know one very awesome dad who would love a picture of him and his very awesome baby in a frame like this :)

free-printable-hostess-fathers-day-gift-hot-saucePhoto belongs to Giver’s Log

Homemade Hot Sauce tutorial from Giver’s Log. AmberLee not only shares a recipe for hot sauce that she got from CITYMAMA, she also shares free printables to put on the jars. It’s a great idea for not only our awesome dads but for anyone who is awesome and loves hot sauce. Like me. I love hot sauce.

chalkboard_mug2Photo belongs to Wit & Whistle

Chalkboard mug tutorial by Wit & Whistle. I have referenced this site a few times before for cool tutorials, so I already know how awesome it is. Again, this mug is not only for Fathers Day, but could really be used for anything. Since all of the fathers in my life drink coffee, I can sure that at least one – if not, all – will get a mug!

grandpa-gift1Photo belongs to The Mombot

BBQ Kit by The Mombot. Another awesome site that I never saw until now. All the fathers in my family love to man the BBQ. I’m a pretty lucky girl, to say the least. They all would love this kit, and maybe I could even screen print a photo of Cecilia on the apron. I pretty much want to screen print a picture of Cecilia on everything I see. Oh, you got a new hand towel? Cool. Do you mind if I screen print my daughter’s face on it? It’s pretty much like that.

If you haven’t started working on the Fathers Day gifts yet, I hope this gives you a push in whichever direction you choose. Like always, feel free to follow my Pinterest for even more Fathers Day ideas! If you have any tutorials or projects you would like to share, post them in the pictures! If you are making any gifts, use #diyfathersday on Instagram, Twitter, or what the heck, both!

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

No Thrifty Thursday category would be complete without tye-dye. As much as it is joked about, it’s the classic DIY approach to bringing new life to old items. What I didn’t know about tye-dye is that there is quite an art to doing it, and if you do it right, you can really make some artful designs. So if you’re looking to make your life a little more tye-dyed, here are some tutorials.

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Image property of Art, Craft & Design

Tye-dye tutorials at Art, Craft & Design

According to the site, Art, Craft & Design is a reference website of how-to’s (instructions, directions and tutorials) for realizing creative vision through different mediums. They have tutorials for pretty much every style of tye-dye, including videos and pictures displaying every style. It’s definitely a site worth checking out for tye-dye and more.

SHORTS

Image property of Nicole Case

Nicole Case gives a thorough tutorial of two different styles of tye-dye bleached shorts on her blog. She also includes pictures of her entire process.

Image property of The Aestate

Image property of The Aestate

DIY Shibori with Indigo Dye Tutorial

I honestly think that every time I post tutorials on something, I end up falling in love with at least one website/blog. And this is definitely one of them. I love the design of the tutorial and of the end product. Jessica runs both the website and blog, and she sells her own designs. Give some of your time to this site, it will be worth it.

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Image property of Swellmyade

DIY Tie-Dye Galaxy Shoe Tutorial, by SWELLMAYDE

Tye-dye does not have to be restricted to your shirts and shorts. You can also tye-dye your shoes! Aimee gives a full tutorial on the project on her site, SWELLMAYDE and also offers tutorials on SO many more DIY projects. Yet another site I have fallen in love with whilst on my tye-dye journey.

And if you choose to go the natural route…

Image belongs to HIghonDIY

Image belongs to HIghonDIY

Natural tie-dye pillow tutorial, from HighonDIY

Holy cow! Another site that I have totally fallen head over homemade heels for. Rinchen De, who runs this site, shares not only DIY tutorials but also inspiration for her projects. She has a full-time job and also photographs street style when she’s not busy doing all of this. She’s awesome.

So know what else I learned from this post? I’ve been spelling it Tye-dye this whole time, but it’s actually spelled Tie-dye. Shows how much I don’t know about tie-dye!

Have a fun tie-dye tutorial to share or want to show off some of your work? Post in the comments!

Update on Baby Burrito Collective

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Tomorrow, it will officially be a month since the Baby Burrito Collective went online. Since then, we have gotten our first member, the lovely Heather Leigh, who also happens to be my very talented cousin. We are working on promoting her latest book, Red Nectar, which is geared towards teens. You can purchase Red Nectar at either Lulu or Amazon and it also comes as an e-book.

Once we are finished working on the online store, we are going to sell Red Nectar on our site as well, but that will have to wait for now!

We have started our Indiegogo campaign and have raised $60 so far. We were able to get business cards with that amount but we still have SO much more to do! If you are able to donate anything to our campaign, it would be amazing and we would be so incredibly grateful for it!

We are also looking for a volunteer writer/blogger who would love to do book reviews. You would be able to get all of the benefits of membership, but wouldn’t have to pay anything. Please visit Baby Burrito Collective’s Volunteer page if you are interested.

We are picking up speed for sure, but there is still so much that we want to do! And we need everyone’s support. Even if you aren’t able to donate, simply just spreading the word about the Baby Burrito Collective will help!

Thank you so much for helping me achieve my dreams!

Amanda

 

Gettin fit: journey to the skirt/ 365 days of yoga

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Current weight: 154

Goal: Switch soda for tea/ yoga twice a day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

journey to the skirtBefore I write anything else, let me just say…weighing yourself the day after BBQ day is NOT a good idea! Ok, now we can continue…last week went pretty good, until Thursday. Why is it always on Thursday when you just lose all motivation and self-control? Maybe it was the pizza my boyfriend brought home, which led to my first soft drink of the week. Who knows.

BUT, I did do yoga every day for a week. Only 358 days of yoga left…yay! I did the same morning routine for a week and now I’m looking to add a night routine. Since I’m done with last week’s morning routine, I found a new one from an awesome site on getting fit, tonedbellyplease.tumblr.com and it has bunnies! It can’t be that hard if bunnies can do it.

tumblr_mj4xxxABjd1rm1axqo1_1280Now, as for the night yoga, I really enjoyed doing this Relaxation Through Yoga the one time that I did it. I’m definitely going to start doing this again. It’s totally relaxing.

And now…the food. I love smoothies. I make them all the time. And I normally stick to the ingredients that I know and like, but I do always love finding new recipes. So, here’s my latest one:peanut-butter-banana-green-smoothie-recipe

I made my own today and loved it! Didn’t feel like having coffee or a big breakfast, so I ate this and it was perfect!

IMG_3944So, if you want to practice 365 days of yoga, just take a picture of you doing yoga and then use #365daysofyoga on Twitter or Instagram. And make sure to post your favorite healthy food/exercise/motivation in the comments!

Grow Write Guild #5: Listen to your garden

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Sometimes, I find it really hard to write a post about my garden. Aside from talking about what new plants are sprouting, there is not much left to say. And even that can be rather boring at times. That’s why I have really taken a liking to the Grow Write Guild over at You Grow Girl.

It’s cool to be able to read about other people’s gardens and to check out what they have going on, and it gives me something different to write about each week. So, this week’s prompt is: What does your garden sound like?

I am extremely, extremely lucky that my garden is located in the country. I don’t hear the cars driving by, I hear birds flying from tree to tree. I hear the dogs barking inside their crate and playing around. I hear the windmill creaking and the door leading to even more acreage, creak as it opens and closes by itself.

On most weekends, I hear my boyfriend and his dad working on their trucks and walking back and forth to the garage. If there is a light breeze, I’ll hear the plants swaying back and forth and if I bring my daughter with me, I’ll hear her obnoxiously loud bouncer as she jumps around.Sometimes, even as all this is going on around me, I don’t hear anything. I just close everything out of my mind and focus on the task at hand, ridding my beautiful, beautiful sanctuary of all the weeds!And sometimes, when I’m pulling out those weeds, I find the most exciting thing I have seen in a long time.  A RED TOMATO!IMG_3859I have attempted to plant tomatoes before, but they never worked out. This is my very, very first time I have had a red tomato! And I don’t even like tomatoes. But, I do love salsa! And my boyfriend is a tomato fan, so I put them in his sandwiches. They’re also good for pizza (duh) and homemade pasta sauce. I planted six tomato plants and they all have tomatoes growing, so I think we’ll be good on tomatoes for a while, may need to even give some away.
IMG_3861 IMG_3865 IMG_3874Not only are my tomatoes finally showing some life, but so is everything else! I did have to pull some herbs as they weren’t growing, but everything that is planted right now is growing wonderfully! The potatoes should be good to pick soon, and my spinach is finally showing some potential.

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Seriously though, look at those green wonders!

IMG_3864 IMG_3870The only thing that I’m a little worried about is my compost. It’s taking a while for all the fruit and veggies to compost, and I’m realizing that I should have probably cut them into pieces before throwing them in there (oops), so I’ll be doing that in the future for sure. It will take a while this way, but at least it will be ready for my next crop.IMG_3871If you have a garden that you love writing about, be sure to check out the Grow Write Guild, and that site in general. Share links to your garden in the comments!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favoritesToday, a good buddy of mine asked if I had an extra trellis she could use. All I have trellis-wise is chicken wire, which works wonders for a garden, but I knew there had to be interesting trellises lurking about. So, I hit the streets of Pinterest and found some really cool trellises! All of these wonderful gems are made from upcycled items, and if you happen to have a trellis that you no longer use, you can repurpose it in your home!

Who knew trellises could be so exciting?!

24258499Use an old screen door as your trellis. Learn more at The Morning Call.

081809trellis350And what about tennis rackets? Check it out at Apartment Therapy

tire-trellis-1My favorite by far…bike tires! From For The Love Of Skinny

EBG-IMG_3241Use an old crib! From My Green Lake

And for the trellises that are just sitting around? Put them to use!

p6050164Put them in your bathroom, to hold stuff. Learn more at Bees Knees Bungalow

If you have an idea for interesting trellises, please post it in the comments! You can check out my Pinterest for more ideas and if there is ever anything you want me to check out and write about for Thrifty Thursdays or Fridays are for Favorites, please let me know!

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

Last week, my stepsister gave me an old barn window that she was initially planning on selling. I was super excited to get said window as I had been pining over it for a while. Unfortunately, my schedule doesn’t allow for a whole lot of creative time, so it’s been sitting in my boyfriend’s car for a while. I was talking to him about building a bike and he reminded me that I needed to work on that window first.

Hence my inspiration for this week’s Thrifty Thursday post….upcycling barn windows! They can be used as table tops or as a photo display. It’s kind of insane what you could do with barn windows.

Old windows can make….

wpid-Photo-Jul-1-2011-1152-PM3artist inspiration boards, from Pretty Handy Girl

PA140091Jewelry holders, by Here’s to Handy Andy

photo (4)Photo frames, from Linda Peterson Designs

DSC_0036Coffee tables, from tatertots and jello

(guest post from Emily at Martha Shmartha)

Baby Greenhousegreenhouses, from DesignDreams by Anne

So, here’s what I have learned. There are A LOT of stuff you can do with windows. A LOT. The only problem is that not a lot of people are doing tutorials. But there are definitely a lot of sites to look at for inspiration. Hopefully the window will be out of my boyfriend’s car by this weekend and he can stop threatening to throw it over the fence…hopefully.

Have a window project you would like to share? Post in the comments! Check out my Pinterest for more awesome ideas.

Update on baby burrito collective

Brace yourself, y’all…we got business cards!

IMG_0008Thanks to our donations from Patty and Tarah last week, we were able to get our business cards! Patty will get free membership for two months with her donation and Tarah will get a free print! Next…we are looking into getting a logo and branding, which should be about $250.

There are so many ways you can get involved. If you want to be a member, we are still offering free memberships for the rest of May. If you purchase a membership during the month of May, you get 30 days FREE. If you donate $25 or more, you will get a free month as well.

one month membership

If you don’t want to be a member but want to check out our services, whatever you donate will be taken off your fee. We are also looking for volunteers. Right now, we need people to help with graphic design and social media. We also need bloggers (preferably teen) who are interested in writing book review. The book will be free to keep!

If you are interested or know someone who might be interested, please check out our website. You can also visit our Indiegogo campaign, and find us on Facebook or Twitter. I know, we’re all over the place.

Are there any projects you are working on? Post them in the comments!

Gettin fit: journey to the skirt/ 365 days of yoga

Current weight: 154

Goal for this week: No soda (replace with tea)/ Yoga practice in the morning

journey to the skirt

So, my soda intake went down significantly this past week. I have this insane obsession with Arnold Palmers, so I just made sure I had enough of those to last me and I did pretty good. I only had a soft drink when we went out to eat, which seems to be my biggest challenge. To make this a little more fun and interesting, I did some research and found some good iced teas to make at home. This will be a lot cheaper than stocking up on Arnold Palmers, and probably a lot better for me.

Since the weather is getting warmer, I thought everyone could benefit from a few iced tea recipes. So here they are!

peach-iced-tea-3Peach iced tea recipe, from No. 2 Pencil

Now, she uses baking soda in her recipe, which I have never heard of before. But I am down to give it a shot!

Homemade-Mango-Iced-Tea-Recipe-009-1024x690Homemade mango iced tea recipe, from Nosh My Way

That recipe doesn’t use sugar, which is good

hb2Mint iced tea recipe, by Le Zoe Musings

Let me just say, I love this blogger. She has been a supporter of my blog from the very beginning and I just love looking at her site. It’s so beautiful. I’m definitely going to try out this recipe, and maybe she’ll even let me write about her for Yo Momma Monday.

Now on to the exercise portion of my goal: YOGA!!! I started yoga when I took a yoga class during my first year of college (that was approximately 12 years ago) and I have practiced it on and off since then. I just love the feeling that I get from it, and I think it will help me get toned and generally help me become more fit. So, to get me back in the habit of praciticing daily, I have made it a goal to practice it once a day for this week. I’m hoping to work my way up to three times a day.

To help motivate me a little more, I’ve decided to start a “365 days of yoga” Challenge. I will take a picture of something yoga related every day and will post it on Instagram using #365daysofyoga. I’ll also post the pictures on my blog and social media sites. If you want to join me, just hashtag that and we can all see what everyone is doing. I think it will be a lot of fun and will help me to stay motivated. The challenge starts tomorrow.

Right now, I’m working on this yoga sequence and I will post a new one each Wednesday:

morning-sequenceI found this little goodie at Enjoy Life::Live Healthy

I don’t think that site is really being maintained since the last post was from last year, but the blog author got that sequence from MindBodyGreen, another site worth checking out if you’re interested in yoga.

If you want to join in the 365 days of yoga challenge, check out my Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram for more information/motivation.

If you know of any tea recipes or yoga sequences, please post them in the comments!

 

Yo Momma Monday: Bree Mobley

yo momma monday

923343_590822744268771_477122649_nI finally got my very first victim (er, momma) for Yo Momma Monday! Her name is Bree Mobley and she is a 20 year-old new mom from what she describes as a richy, snobby little town in North Carolina. She blogs at Parent Trapped with her partner in parenting, Jason, and they have a three month old son, Maverick.

She found me on the May Blog Hop at Bloggymoms (proof that those things actually work) and she very kindly answered my questions in record time. Although there are 10 years difference between me and Bree, so much of our story is the same. Kids literally change everything and make your life feel so much more meaningful.

What were you doing before your son was born? I was living in the Raleigh-Durham area working in a movie theater and at home as customer support for an online company.

How has your life changed since having him? Well, I’m a mom now. Lol, no,  uhm, seriously it’s changed a lot. I’m a stay at home mom now. I kinda enjoy being a stay at home mom. I like to clean, cook, take care of the baby. All of those things. I always wanted to be Lucy Ricardo, a Stepford Wife. It’s not what most people picture when they meet me, but I love the idea. To be a domestic goddess. And nearly all of my time is dedicated to someone else. I definitely value time out of the house a lot more. And suddenly someone is a million times more important than anything else. I’m not depressed anymore either. He literally makes every aspect of my life better.

How would you describe your son’s personality? Well, he’s truly a sunshine-y happy baby. I’m woken up to big gummy smiles. He loves showers. He talks a lot. Always cooing and his face is always serious while he does it. He makes me laugh a lot with the faces he makes. Oh, and he’s a flirt. Loves to smile at the ladies.

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What is one thing you wish you knew before having a baby? How much I would love him. I mean, of course I knew if I’d ever had a child I’d love them. But, sometimes I just sit there and look at him. Like when he’s sleeping, and it feels like my heart is going to burst from the love I feel for him. Nothing else matters. I cry when I think about him growing up and saying Mama for the first time, or walking. I had a dream once that something horrible happened to him and I have yet to get over it. It breaks my heart when I think about it and it was just a dream. I’ve lost people close to me in reality and that didn’t compare to the pain of that dream. He is literally mein Herz. (My heart)
What made you guys decide to both write for one blog? Do you have any other blogs? Well, I was talking about how I really wanted to have a -REAL- mommy blog. I have a tumblr, you see. (mommyslittlemonstar.tumblr.com) There I tend to just reblog things and occasionally post about how I feel about motherhood or update about his progress. But I wanted a real blog and Jason-Maverick’s dad, thought it’d be a great idea for both of us to write for it together. After all, as far as I’ve seen, not many parent blogs tend to show both sides of the spectrum. Not to mention, one day we’ll be able to look back together and see all the things we posted, all the pictures and memories.
When do you feel like you are at your strongest/weakest? Strongest- I feel like I’m at my strongest when my family is together and doing things together. When we go for a morning walk and we’re all smiling, or laying in bed and talking about our plans for the future. (We cosleep, you see. Maverick sleeps between us.) I’m my weakest when I’m alone. I don’t tend to do so when I’m alone and that’s when I start to think about how things can/or have fallen apart. How promises can be broken or that kind of
thing.
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Is there anything that stressed you out that you look back and laugh at now? Uhm, I stress about everything. The worst things were telling my dad I was pregnant at nineteen, introducing my dad to Jason (He’s never met a single boyfriend before, and trying to get only the people I wanted in my hospital room in there and no one else. My dad was disappointed that I got pregnant so young but he supported me 100% and he absolutely adores my son. Him and Jason seem to get along well enough. You can never really tell how my dad feels. And… in the end, my sister was in the hospital room too, even though I’d only wanted my mom, my son’s godfather, and Jason. It didn’t matter though. It was kind of nice since I’d been there when she was born. Besides, I had an emergency c-section. When it came to my son being born, it was just me and Jason.

Who gave you the best/worst parenting advice? Uhm, I really wasn’t given much parenting advice. Just the whole “sleep when baby sleeps” tidbit. I helped raise my siblings and I’m a research nut, so I think most people figured I had it under control. By the way, you may want to roll your eyes but sleep when baby sleeps is a great bit of advice. Not EVERYTIME the baby naps of course, you’ll never get anything done but at least one nap a day, you’ll feel so much better. Wait, no I do have one piece of bad advice. “Get all the sleep now while you’re pregnant, you won’t get it later.” It’s not like you can stock up on the sleep and be rested later. No matter how much sleep you get while you’re pregnant, you’ll still be sleepy later.

Besides your blog, how do you keep from just completely losing it? The occasional date. My mother is staying with us right now until she can afford a place of her own and so we have a live in babysitter when she doesn’t have to work. Our occasional movie dates are amazing. Or, when we go for our family walks or on trips to the zoo. Those are godly to me. We’re all smiling, I’m taking photographs, and I just fall more and more in love with them than I was before.
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What is the best thing about being a parent? Everything. The way they look at you and smile. Their precious face as they dream. The pride you feel when someone compliments them. All of it. And knowing it only gets better with time.
What about the scariest thing? Worrying that you’re going to fail. Fear that your child is going to hate you, or that you’re not going to be able to provide something for them. That’s the scariest thing to me.
If you want to learn more about Bree and her adventures in parenting, visit her blog at Parent Trapped. If you know of any awesome mamas who would be a great addition to this blog, please post in the comments or e-mail me at mamabecrafty@gmail.com.